Too Hot to Handle?

This is a partial transcript from The O'Reilly Factor, September 25, 2003. Watch The O'Reilly Factor weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET and listen to the Radio Factor!

BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Back of the Book" segment tonight, there's no shortage of new programs featuring heavy sex quotients this season. Fox even has one called Skin about the porno industry. Two NBC stations, one in South Bend, Indiana, the other in Salt Lake City, have dropped the new show Coupling (search) because it's too hot for them.

With us now, Linda Stasi, TV critic for The New York Post, and from Los Angeles, Tim Winter, executive director of the Parents Television Council.

Coupling, Mr. Winters, is an abomination?

TIM WINTER, PARENTS TV COUNCIL: Well, Mr. O'Reilly, the way we look at this is we have -- I just totally blanked.

O'REILLY: That's all right. I mean the program -- your objection to it -- don't be nervous -- is what?

WINTER: OK. Right now, the show's going to show at 9:30 p.m. in the East and the Pacific, which means 8:30 Central and Mountain Time.

There are going to be millions of children watching this show, and, frankly, even by today's standards, the amount of sexual content, both quantitatively and qualitatively, is astounding.

The networks have basically forgotten that they're borrowing our public airwaves to deliver their programming.

O'REILLY: All right. So it's just a show about sex, and you feel it has no social redeeming value?

WINTER: It's actually funny, I laughed out loud, but, again, you know, at some point, it's hard enough being a parent in the United States as it is.

O'REILLY: But, just don't it watch, though. Parents should say, look, you know, you're not watching Coupling, and that's it. You know if you want to run away, here's a quarter.

WINTER: I can do that in my household, but it permeates our culture. If it's not my household, then it's everybody else where my daughter goes to school and plays with. It's everywhere.

O'REILLY: All right. What do you see, Linda? You hated the show.

LINDA STASI, THE NEW YORK POST: Well unfortunately, I disagree with everything he said. I think it's not sexy. I think it's stupid. I think it's unfunny. I think it will do a great thing for parents because nobody's going to want to have sex after seeing this show. It's so boring.

O'REILLY: Is it that unappealing?

STASI: It's boring and unappealing.

O'REILLY: Yes, but Mr. Winter has a point. It comes on right after Friends (search), doesn't it, or Will & Grace or one of those shows, right?

STASI: Yes, but, you know, what they're saying is that it's going to replace those shows  -- Friends and Sex and the City. It's not going to replace anything. All it's going to do is make you long for those shows.

You know, those shows -- well, not Sex and the City, but Friends doesn't have to go and do all that silly, schmarmy stuff to make up for no material.

O'REILLY: Is it offensive? Is it offensive?

STASI: It's just offensive because it's so boring.

O'REILLY: All right. Now if a 14-year-old was watching it, would they be corrupted in any way?

STASI: I think 14-year-olds see much, much, much racier things on MTV, on VH1.

O'REILLY: That's cable, though. You know, Mr. Winter says the airwaves, you know. Come on.

STASI: Yes. Find me a house without MTV.

O'REILLY: I know, but, you know, there is a difference. Is that your primary objection, Mr. Winter, you know, cable you have to pay for, and you have to, you know, come on in, and this should be a little higher standards on NBC?

WINTER: It should be a higher standard. It is the publicly owned airwaves. But even with MTV, these are shows that are targeted to kids. They're directly going after children with these messages. And, again, you know, at some point, you've got to say enough is enough.

O'REILLY: But is this the point? You know, because I remember NYPD Blue a few years back. You know, there were some stations not carrying that, and that's a classic television program, you know?

STASI: I think you see racier things on that, on NYPD Blue than you're going to see...

O'REILLY: Yes, but it's on at 10:00. If this were on later, Mr. Winter, would your objections be less?

WINTER: It is somewhat less. Yes. But, remember, successful shows later on at night go into syndication during the daytime, and, again, at some point, they're going to be in front of our children.

O'REILLY: All right.

STASI: I don't think you're going to have to worry about this going into syndication.

O'REILLY: No? You think it's a one...

STASI: I think if it lasts three weeks...

O'REILLY: Really? That bad? That horrendous?

All right. I can't watch that sexy stuff anymore. You know, I'm too old. I'm afraid I'm...

STASI: Oh, Bill.

O'REILLY: I know. I've always been boring anyway.

All right. Linda, Mr. Winter, thanks very much. We appreciate it.

WINTER: Thank you.

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